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Poor hay causing concern

Up to one-half of Alberta hay supplies may be of lower quality, says a provincial beef and forage specialist.

“Protein levels in a lot of hay that was cut late or damaged by rain over the summer, is testing 25 to 30 per cent lower than normal,” said Barry Yaremcio, noting that skinny cows have serious problems during calving. “I’m getting calls on a regular basis and I’d say about 25 to 50 per cent of the hay this year is of lower quality than what the physical appearance will show.”

Feed testing is well worth the cost, said Yaremcio, who also recommends consulting a vet or fellow producer if there’s a potential problem.

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